Saturday, September 15, 2012

A Familiar Foe

Spruce Kings looking to rebound against the Vees
like they did the last time

Over the years there have been many rivalries developed especially with teams that play out of the Interior Division. Tonight`s opposition is one of those teams in the Penticton Vees who come in as the defending national champions after winning the 2012 RBC Royal Bank Cup Championship in May.

Prior to that run to the national crown, the Vees had established themselves as one of the elite teams of the 2011-12 season in all of Canada if not North America. That status was build up with an improbable run of the table through the regular season that saw the Vees carry out a winning streak to 42 games.

It may have been one game longer if not for the Prince George Spruce Kings on March 10, 2012. In the final regular season game of the year the Spruce Kings found themselves on the back end of a double header with the Vees. The night before the Spruce Kings had leads of 3-2, 4-3 and even 5-4 but could not hold on through the third period.

On Saturday night the Prince George hockey faithful filled the Coliseum to capacity for a third consecutive night and came prepared to cheer on a home team victory. After scoring first at the two minute mark, the Spruce Kings found themselves trailing the Vees 2-1 early in the second period but weren’t prepared to let this one slip through the fingers.

After tying the game just past the mid-way mark of the second period, the Spruce Kings were able to take over in the third period. An even strength goal, a power play tally and finally an empty netter sealed the deal and gave the Spruce Kings arguably their biggest BCHL regular season victory.

To start the season the two teams have strung together points in each of their first three games with the Vees doing one better with three wins while the Spruce Kings suffered an overtime loss last night. The Vees went into double overtime against the West Kelowna Warriors last night finally winning the game at the 68:30 mark.

The Spruce Kings meanwhile picked up a single point in an overtime loss to the Trail Smoke Eaters. Prince George started out on the right note in their home opener scoring twice in the opening period including a buzzer beater that stopped the clock with a fraction of a second remaining. The second period saw the two teams trade goals and in the third period two screened shots led to the extra time and the unfortunate loss.

The Spruce Kings will look to rebound tonight against a strong opponent in the Vees.

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